Knives We’re Digging

Most of the time, I keep a really lightweight fixed blade on me. I’ve always said, “A big man can make due with a small knife.” Certain occasions do call for a bigger knife, though. If I’m headed to camp and I know I’ll be doing some wood processing, or if I’ll be out for a few days, I’m taking a knife I know I can count on to get me through a pinch. Batoning, digging, smashing, hammering, chopping, cutting, scraping… the list goes on. There isn’t much you can’t get done with a good knife and a little practice.

Here are a few solid bushcraft options that’ll get your heart racing.

Up Armored Knives

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The Up Armored FFS WoodCraft/Utility.

What I like most about the FFS Wood CraftCraft/Utility is its simplicity. A sharp piece of steel is easily ruined by excessive geometry and unneeded frills. This one features a 4.5″ blade and comes in at 9.5′ overall. The 1095/cv steel is hardened to 58-60RC and is .165″ thick.  I dig the spear point, and the convex edge will be easy to field sharpen. The best part? It weighs only 10 oz, and when you add the sheath, it’s just under a pound. $355 as pictured.

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The Up Armored Faunus, pictured here in .27″ thick A2 steel.

While a 4.5″ blade is a good size for utility, sometimes you just need a chopper. Enter the Faunus with a 7″ blade. In 1095cv steel also at 58-60RC, edge retention is not an issue. The Faunus comes with your choice of G10 or Micarta scales and an awesome kydex sheath with an optional fire steel retainer. The Faunus is a great option when setting up a bush camp is in your immediate future. $385 as pictured.

Wander Tactical

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Wander Tactical Uro with a raw finished blade and grey Micarta scales.

I’m not sure I need to tell you much about the Uro because it’s absolutely drool worthy. The basics at the very least are: 5.7″ blade, 12″ overall, D2 steel at 59-61RC, and it weighs just under 16oz. I like everything about this knife. The choil and jimping give you more control for finer tasks, and the handle is long enough to move down for chopping. Wander Tactical is an Italian company with some U.S. dealers: $285 Euros.

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The Wander Tactical Smilodon.

Like I said, sometimes you need a chopper. The Smilodon is a magnificent monster at 14″ over all with a 7.1″ blade. Even at those dimensions, it’s a nimble knife thanks to its perfect balance, finger choil, and jimping. The .25″ thick D2 steel is hardened to 59-61 RC and absolutely blows through wood when batoning. It comes with  a price tag to match its bite: $390 Euros.

Vorn Knives

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The Vorn Slá in Amboyna Burl and Elk Antler.

The Slá is a fast utility knife with a 4″ blade in CPM S35VN steel, which is renowned for its edge retention and rust resistance. What I really like about the Slá are the profile and grip geometry. Available in multi handle materials, this is a display quality piece that is begging for field use. A good deal at $259 with a four month lead time.

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The Vorn Dýr in Desert Ironwood Scales.

When you need a little more length for heavier chores, the Dýr has you covered. I’m so impressed at the detail and attention in the scales of these knives. Made from the same CMP S35VN as its little brother, the Dýr is not just a looker, it’s a field knife capable of big game processing and camp chores. No doubt, a worthy heirloom piece that will age well. Priced at $339 with a four month lead time.

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